1691. That 'a mountain' means self-love and love of the world becomes clear from the meaning of 'a mountain', dealt with immediately below. All evil and falsity arise from self-love and love of the world; they have no other origin. Indeed self-love and love of the world are the reverse of celestial and spiritual love. And being the reverse they are loves which endeavour all the time to destroy the celestial and spiritual things of God's kingdom. From self-love and love of the world all kinds of hatred arise, and from hatred all kinds of revenge and cruelty, and from both the former and the latter all kinds of deception, in short, all the hells.
 That 'mountains' in the Word means self-love and love of the world becomes clear from the following places: In Isaiah,
The eyes of man's (homo) loftiness will be humbled, and the height of men (homo) brought low; the day of Jehovah Zebaoth will be against everyone that is lofty and high, against all high mountains, and against all hills that are lifted up, and against every lofty tower. Isaiah 2:11-12, 14-15.
'High mountains' plainly stands for self-love, and 'hills that are lifted up' for love of the world.
 In the same prophet,
Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low. Isaiah 40:4.
This too plainly stands for self-love and love of the world. In the same prophet,
I will lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up every plant on them. Isaiah 42:15.
Here similarly 'mountains' stands for self-love, and 'hills' for love of the world. In Ezekiel,
The mountains will be overturned, and the terraced ridges will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. Ezekiel 38:20.
 In Jeremiah,
Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, destroying the whole earth, and I will stretch out My hand against you and roll you down from the rocks and make you into a mountain of burning. Jeremiah 51:25.
This refers to Babel and Chaldea, which, as shown already, mean self-love and love of the world. In the Song of Moses,
A fire has flared up in My anger, and will burn right down to the lowest hell, and will devour the land and its increase, and will set on fire the foundations of the mountains. Deuteronomy 32:22.
'The foundations of the mountains' stands for the hells, as is explicitly stated. They are called 'the foundations of the mountains' because self-love and love of the world reign there and have their origin in them.
 In Jonah,
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul, the deep closed around me, seaweed was wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the bars of the land were upon me for ever. Yet You brought up my life 1 from the pit, O Jehovah my God. Jonah 2:5-6.
The Lord's temptations against the hells are described in this prophetic manner by Jonah when in the stomach of the great fish, as also in other parts of the Word, especially in David. A person undergoing temptation is within the hells. Being in the hells is not at all a question of place but of state.
 Since 'mountains' and 'towers' mean self-love and love of the world, it may therefore become clear what is meant by the reference to the Lord being led by the devil on to a high mountain and on to the pinnacle of the temple, namely that He was led into conflicts that constitute temptations - the most extreme conflicts of all - against self-love and love of the world, that is, against the hells. Mountains are also used, as is usual, in the contrary sense; in that sense they mean celestial and spiritual love, as shown already in 795, 796.
1. literally, my lives